James Arthur Ray's Death-Lodge Trial Will Stay in Yavapai County, Judge Rules

The manslaughter trial of James Arthur Ray, the Oprah-approved "self-help" guru charged with killing three people in a deadly sweat-lodge retreat near Sedona last year, will remain in Yavapai County, a judge ruled yesterday.

Ray's lawyers had pushed to have the trial moved to the Phoenix area because publicity the case has received in Yavapai County might hurt Ray's ability to receive a fair trial.

The media circus surrounding Ray's case, his attorneys would no doubt be publicly shocked to find out, has made its way to Phoenix -- so a change in venue wouldn't have been the solution the legal team was hoping for.

Prosecutors disagreed with the defense's claim. They say, aside from a few weeks after the incident, media coverage in Yavapai County has been minimal.

Ray's been charged with three counts of manslaughter stemming from last year's sweat-lodge event that left three people dead and dozens injured.

Check out the grizzly, vomit-filled details here. 

Ray's trial was scheduled start August 31, but the date's been vacated because Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow had a scheduling conflict. A new date has not been set.

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James King
Contact: James King

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